If you appreciate convenience, then chances are you’ve fully accepted electronic banking and debit cards into your life. After all, who doesn’t like to zip through paying bills as quickly as possible? Unfortunately, thieves also love this quick convenience. This is just one of the reasons that it may be in your best interest to avoid putting away your checkbook.
Simple budgeting is time consuming, but it is remarkably important to track your expenses, particularly when you’re paying bills. If you find yourself struggling to get by every month, you may be surprised to find that it might just be your debit card and the convenience they entail that is causing you problems. After all, they’re quick, so you may not be as diligently tracking your expenses as you should. This is why a good, old-fashioned checkbook is so critical. When you’re sitting there making out your bills every month, its easier to be in a budgeting mindset and jot down the amounts you’re spending. This is also helpful if you occasionally overdraft your checking account. Even just once per month can be expensive, but if you always know how much you have, you’ll be less likely to spend what you don’t.
Another benefit you’ll get from writing checks as opposed to making electronic transactions all the time is that you then have a physical record of the transaction. Sure, an electronic transfer gives you a confirmation number, but these are electronically generated and stored. Plus, it’s tough to fit them on your check register because they’re so long. You really can’t beat a physical payment record for security should the bank lose your information. If this isn’t enough to convince you, give it a try for just a month or two. Not only will you see your accounts become more manageable, but your security will get stronger, as well!